I've already told you a little bit about my Black Friday adventures - transport problems, crowds and stress, but it wasn't all like that. I had a busy day that's true but there were a couple of occasions where I had a chance to chill and to breathe more slowly.
My last port of call on Black Friday was a blogger event at the Neals Yard Remedies store, in Newcastle's iconic, Central Arcade. The arcade was closed but the staff and the PR company made the small store feel both warm and welcoming on a cold drizzly night, with glasses of bubbly, mince pies, cookies, dips and festive tunes.
I have to be honest and say that I wasn't that familiar with Neals Yard Remedies, I'd tried a couple of products, mainly picked up from magazine cover mounts but I wasn't that familiar with their ethics, or their history, but the staff were on hand to fill us in and I have to say I was impressed.
The brand produces a wide range of award winning natural and organic skincare, hair care, body care and make up products. They also have their own baby care range, as well as a range of aromatherapy based home fragrancing products. They were one of the first health and beauty companies to be certified organic by the Soil Association, and they are also approved by BUAV for their cruelty free policies and practises.
From the opening of their flagship store in Covent Garden in 1981, the brand have gone from strength to strength and now retail in countries such as Australia, Mexico and Israel, whilst maintaining the same ethical stance that they always did
After a short talk and some refreshments we we're given free rein to explore the all be it small store and to try out some of the products for ourselves. I have to say it was a real sensory experience, all of their scents are pure and natural and there are no synthetics involved. It makes such a difference - there really is no comparison between natural and synthetic fragrances of say something like lavender.
The staff were on hand for any questions that we had, and they were also passing round plates of some of their super food selection to try. Neals Yard as a company are firm believers that beauty comes from the inside as well as the outside, so they sell a wide range of super fruits, tinctures and supplements including goji berries, mulberries and all manner of dried herbs and spices.
I have to say I fell in love with quite a few of their products and I couldn't resist making a little purchase.
Spending as much time in Cyprus as I have over the years I've came to love the heady smell of Jasmine, but it's a fragrance that's easy to get wrong, some of the synthetic versions are so heady there almost sickly. The true fragrance of the plant has more to it than that and it almost has a bit of spiciness to it.
Neals Yard Remedies Sensual Jasmine Shower Gel blends real jasmine essential oil with ylang ylang to produce a beautiful floral fragrance which lingers but at the same time doesn't blow your head off. It's SLS free and it also contains fair trade honey which adds a bit of sweetness. It's £14 for a 200ml bottle but a little goes a long way.
Any one of their iconic dark blue jars or bottles would make a lovely gift and you can build your own gift sets in store or online but if you want something quick and dare I say it in some cases better value, they have a lot of pre packaged gift sets to cater for all budgets from £14 to well over £100.
As we were leaving we were kindly given one of their beautifully packaged gifts to take a home. There are three different one to choose from in this size and the one I chose was the Neals Yard Remedies Balance Rose And Geranium Organic Body Collection*
This beautiful, fold out pouch with a ribbon handle, contains a 100ml Rose And Geranium Shower Gel, and a 50ml Rose And Geranium Body Lotion.
Both of these products have a beautiful, floral scent, as well as containing real rose otto and geranium both items also again contain ylang ylang essential oil. This scent is a big hit with both me, and Mummy Lou, which is probably just as well because I bought a 200ml bottle to pop in her Christmas stocking :)
At £14 This is a lovely little kit that would make with a lovely stocking filler or a small present in its own right. As well as the Balance variant, it also comes in Revive, which is a very festive blend of frankincense and mandarin, and Unwind, which contains a bubble bath instead of shower gel in a lavender, geranium and marjoram fragrance.
I really enjoyed my time with Neals Yard Remedies, and I'd like to thank everyone involved with the event. It was a nice intimate and informative event, that succeeded in overtaking my senses and calming me down before I went back out into the cold and faced the Black Friday traffic. I will definitely be trying a few more items from the brand in the future, and top of my list are the English Lavender Bath And Shower Gel and the Wild Rose Beauty Balm. If you have any Neals Yard Remedies recommendations I'd love to hear them so please leave me a comment and let me know your favourites x You can find out more about Neals Yard Remedies by having a look at their very informative and pleasing on the eye website x